I happened to be at China Square for an errand and could not passover the chance to dine at Hong Lim Food Market. For those unfamiliar with this hawker centre, this is the place with the highest concentration of Michelin Bib Gourmands and top choice by food critics in Singapore.
There’s so many things I want to try but I only have one stomach. So I settled for curry chicken noodles. Heng Kee Curry Chicken Bee Hoon Mee downstairs is said to be the original, but the snaking queue was a huge turnoff. Go up the second storey, Ah Heng Chicken Curry Bee Hoon Mee‘s queue was much more bearable, and then there’s the Michelin Bib Gourmand recommendation.
The ingredients are very simple – steamed chicken, bean curd, fish cakes, bean sprouts, noodles/vermicelli and a single piece of potato. Unlike Da Po in Golden Mile Food Market, they don’t come with pork rinds. The chicken was one of the best I have eaten in a long time, and even better than the professional chicken rice stores. Tender and moist, and not overpowered by the thick and rich curry soup, I enjoyed the entire drumstick and was hoping for more. The store is so popular that it has taken three stores (#02-57/58/59) to cater for the demand. And they even expanded to nearby Queen Street with another store.
There are many that said their neighbour below was better, and the queue was obviously much longer. However in this day and age where speed and efficiency are everything, it is quite obvious who is more successful. All three stores of Ah Heng had a queue when I was there, but it was dispersed very quickly as they have three stores to spread the load. This is modern supply and demand in play.
Built in 1978, renovated in 2009 and 2018, Hong Lim Market and Food Centre is the first hawker centre in the Chinatown area. Some of the other Michelin recommended stalls that can be found there include Ji Ji Wanton Noodle Specialist 基记面家, High Street Tai Wah Pork Noodle, Outram Park Fried Kway Teow Mee, and Famous Sungei Road Trishaw Laksa. Will definitely return to try the others.
Ah Heng Chicken Curry Bee Hoon Mee 亚王咖喱鸡米粉麵
Blk 531A, Upper Cross Street #02-57/58, Hong Lim Market and Food Centre, Singapore 051531
Visited in Apr 2022
Michelin Guide Singapore Edition Plates 2016-2021